At the start of the NRB Research Symposium, Robert McFarland shared a great piece of insight that framed the rest of the time. We're hearing of "crisis" all the time--economically, geographically, organizationally. The Chinese symbol for "crisis" is composed of two characters--Danger and Opportunity. People are leaving the Church, ministries are facing lay-offs, donors are dwindling and policies are threatening religious freedom. But this danger is coupled with more opportunity to reach generations than ever before. When all was said and done, I was floored by the potential available for Christian Media today!
As my fellow attendees will probably attest to, we're all on "information overload" right now. There were so many areas discussed and a broad base of research presented, it's going to take some time to work through! You can count on me sharing more thoughts in the next few days.
My first time attending the symposium, I wasn't sure what to expect exactly. What I found far surpassed anything I imagined. There were honest and candid conversations about what's not working for organizations and communication efforts, what technology advances people are engaging with, and what the faith landscape is in America (especially pertinent for us as leaders in Christian media).
If you're like me, at times you can easily become discouraged by the secularization of culture, the loss of youth in the Church and the overwhelming challenges Christian ministries face today. But at the end my time in Dallas, that's not how I felt at all. As Robert pointed out--danger and opportunity are two sides of the same coin. Despite challenges, more than ever we have an opportunity to reach people right where they're at, with tools they understand--and lead them to Truth! Now that makes me excited!
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